Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands and the easiest to get to. It's in a great spot if you think you want to visit some of the neighboring islands. There are ferries and day trips that leave Tortola all the time, making inter-island visits relatively easy.
What We Love:
Feeling of being on a small island, even though Tortola is quite large
No large, all-inclusive type resorts
You can find uncrowded beaches
What To Know:
Can be difficult and time/consuming to get to
Depending on where you go and when, there could be crowds due to cruise ship-based visitors
A) Fly directly to Tortola's airport at Beef Island (EIS). The airport at Beef Island serves regional jets and turbo props only, no large jets. Most flights are from San Juan (SJU) and take 30-45 minutes, but there are flights from St. Maarten (SXM) and Antigua (ANU) as well. Some of the airlines landing at Beef Island are: Cape Air, Air Sunshine, and American Eagle.
B) Fly to St. Thomas (STT) and take a ferry over to Tortola. There is a ferry dock in Charlotte Amalie (capital of St. Thomas) about a 5-10 minute taxi ride from the airport. The ferry from Charlotte Amalie to West End, Tortola is about 50 minutes. We recommend buying a one-way ticket, as there is a possiblity that you will end up on a different ferry carrier on the way back. Ferry schedules can be confusing because some operators alternate times each week, and it is virtually impossible to know ahead of time which week is which. Most likely you will have to wait until you get there to find out from someone in the know -- at the ferry dock, at your hotel, your villa manager, etc.
Native Son Ferry - One way: $30/adult, $19/child 6-12, $10/child 3-5
Smith's Ferry - One way: $30/adult, $25/child 6-12, $5/child 3-5
Where To Stay
Frenchmans Resort - PERMANENTLY CLOSED AFTER HURRICANE IRMA
Where To Eat
What To Do
Dive and/or Snorkel with UBS Divers (personalized, flexible)